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About the T-belt tensioner

1862 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Fluid
I was recently told by a pro who works on TDIs that the timing belt tensioner must be replaced each time it is removed or reset, in this case after a camshaft job, 05 Passat, when the timing belt had only 15K miles on it. I had never heard this before; the nut maybe, but the whole thing? Any opinions about this? Thanks.
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It couldn't hurt since it's so cheap but if the tensioner only had 15k I don't see the harm. If a pro said it it's probably from their experience so I'd listen to them. However, if you tension it and just reset it you don't have to replace it. Maybe some other types of timing belt tensioners but I believe it's just a spring.
Cheap? I see 70-85 dollars for one.
I haven't heard that it has to be replaced each time it's reset. I do know that if you reset it, loosen it all the way before trying to retighten it. I could see it getting a little corrosion that might cause the arrow being off but I don't see the harm in reusing one with only 15k on it. The manual doesn't say it either.

There's a writeup for replacing the camshaft in the FAQ. I wouldn't replace the timing belt either and you don't have to remove it. If it does come off, make sure it stays in the same rotation direction.

Yeah, it's not so cheap so it's up to you. Here are some sources:

One more question about it. When cold, the pointer is in the middle of the target notch, but warm, it's about 1/4 inch to the right of the edge of the notch. Is that too much or OK?
VW tensioners move even when cold because the action of the engine causes tension to go up and down as the engine moves and warms up. It's supposed to be set cold so don't worry about the warm position. If you touch the tensioner, make sure the tab on the back is in the slot. I've seen a defective or damaged tensioner where the tab was bent. I don't know if it was from prior installation or some other problem but it could have let go, so you may just want to quickly inspect it before reuse.
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